Italy says 15 boat migrants died, 2,700 saved

Italy says 15 boat migrants died, 2,700 saved

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 6:38 pm

Italian navy helping migrants (FILE PHOTO)

Italian navy helping migrants (FILE PHOTO)


Fifteen bodies were recovered while over 2,700 boat migrants have been rescued off the coast of Libya, the Italian coastguard said on Tuesday in another day of mass departures from North Africa.

Italy’s navy and coastguard, ships patrolling on a European Union anti-smuggling mission, vessels run by humanitarian groups, and a commercial tug boat aided in the rescues.

“Earlier in the day, the Italian Navy said that six bodies were found after migrants fell out of a leaking rubber boat.

“The migrants were saved from 19 dangerously overcrowded rubber boats and four small boats,’’ the coastguard said without giving any further details.

The report said that people smugglers operate freely in Libya, cashing in on migrants who are desperate to reach Europe.

The Italy’s Interior Ministry said that as at last week, calmer seas and Libya’s lawlessness opened the way for smugglers to ship 13,000 migrants across the Mediterranean Sea in just four days.

“The Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War two is now focused on Italy, at Europe’s southern frontier, where some 93,000 people had arrived by the end of August,’’ it said. (Reuters/NAN)

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